Refresh Layout

Refreshes the layout of the current comp (Win+Mac: Shift+Z, Win+Mac [German]: Shift+Y, Win+Mac [French]: Shift+W).
Sometimes the language-specific shortcut (German or French) of Refresh Layout won't get applied correctly by default because the OS or AE language can't get detected accurately. In that case, the English shortcut will be applied. If you want the best user experience, change the shortcut manually to its default in these languages (German: Shift+Y, French: Shift+W).
Use Refresh Layout every time layers have been moved, created, or renamed (using AE renaming).
Refresh Layout will refresh:
  • Indent
  • Visibility, solo, and lock states
  • Group parents
  • Group labels
  • Layer icons
It will also:
  • Quick refresh clone connections of selected layers (for more information, see below)
  • Collapse layers that have been shifted into a collapsed group
  • Convert layers of a Prime Clone to Prime Clone layers and vice versa
  • Convert Precomp Clones, on which its Cloned Layer effects have been deleted, to Dependent Clones
  • Reorder effects on Linked Adjustment Layers according to the order in which the Linked Adjustment Layers are within the comp (for more on this, see Create Linked Adjustment Layer chapter)
  • Remove Group Mattes from layers if the Group Matte Layer itself has been deleted
  • Check names of selected layers for whether duplicate names exist and rename the selected layers if needed
Refresh Layout will only refresh the comp's layout. Connections of Clones in Comp, entire Precomp Clones, Linked Adjustment Layers, and Group Mattes are not being refreshed (use Refresh Connections for this).

Unavailable After Effects Functions

Layer Comments with Internal Workflower Information
In order for Workflower to run its functions, it is taking full control of AE's shy mode to collapse groups, as well as AE's layer and project item comments to store internal information. That means, though, that shy states and comments are not usable anymore. Keep that in mind when applying Workflower to an existing comp because all shy and comment data will be overwritten.

Exempt Layer Names from being altered

(Added in version 1.0.5)
Exempting 'Original Base' from being indented to keep the 'Normalize Track' script functional
Certain plugins/scripts depend on specific layers to keep their original name. Tools that depend on this include RubberHose 2, Deekay Tool, or Normalize Track. However, in Indented Layout, Workflower will rename almost all layer names in your comp indent them. To combat this, you can add a marker to your layer with the comment "NNN" (without quotation marks).
Be aware that doing this will keep the layer name from being altered at all. So if the layer already has an indent, it will keep that indent. If you don't want the layer to have that indent, just remove it and the next time you execute Refresh Layout, no indent will be added.
For a list of plugins/scripts that depend on specific layer names and that we've tested for their compatibility with Workflower, please click here.

Unavailable Characters (Mac only)

Due to restrictions on Mac, Workflower cannot use a certain set of special characters to show icons within the layer name as it does on Windows and therefore regular characters are being used. However, that's why certain combinations of characters cannot be used in layer names since they will be removed and replaced every time Refresh Layout is being executed. Make sure not to use the following combinations of characters within your layer names:
  • [–]
  • [+]
  • >
  • ~
  • [o]
  • [x]
  • [c]
  • [p]
  • [d]
  • [i]
  • [m]
  • [ø]
  • ∆ ∆
  • [g]
  • »
  • [a]
  • [[U]]

Quick Refresh Clone Connections of Selected Layers

By default, this setting is disabled. To enable it, go to the Cloning Settings and activate When executing 'Refresh Layout', quick refresh Clone Connections of selected Layers. Now, every time you add or delete effects/masks, change the effects/masks order, change a parent or blending mode, enable/disable 3D, etc., simply execute Refresh Layout to update the corresponding clone layer/s.
This Quick Refresh Connections function within Refresh Layout is mostly identical to the separate Quick Refresh Connections function and has similar limitations. For more on this, see the Quick Refresh Connections chapter. However, there are also some differences between the Quick Refresh Connections function within Refresh Layout and the actual Quick Refresh Connections function:
  • Only connections of the selected layers, as well as the layer order, will be refreshed within Refresh Layout; not the other layers within the clone comp.
  • Potentially cloning and replacing layers with non-readable effects DOES NOT happen when quick refreshing connections within Refresh Layout, as it would slow down Refresh Layout too much.
  • Only Precomp Clone connections will be refreshed. No Clones in Comp, Linked Adjustment Layers, or Group Mattes.
Using Quick Refresh Clone Connections within Refresh Layout might slow down Refresh Layout. If you prefer a better performance, disable this option in the Cloning Settings and refresh connections only via its dedicated functions.

Toggle Non-Indented Layout

Toggles from Indented Layout to Non-Indented Layout and vice versa (Win: Shift+I, Mac: no default shortcut).
Left: Indented Layout; Right: Non-Indented Layout
Non-Indented Layout may be useful to you if you want to use Refresh Layout less since indenting can only happen if Refresh Layout is executed every time layers have been moved. Aside from that, if the indent in Indented Layout is updated, the layer names will be renamed and if the layers in question are linked using expressions by other layers, all expressions will have to updated by AE, which will take a bit of time. To avoid this, you can instead use Non-Indented Layout.
Be aware that toggling to Non-Indented Layout may take a bit of time since all layers have to be renamed.
Non-Indented Layout can be set as the default layout in the Layout Settings.

Toggle Expression Mode

Toggles from Indented Layout to Expression Mode and vice versa (Win: Shift+O, Mac: no default shortcut).
Left: Indented Layout; Right: Expression Mode
Expression Mode removes the indent and strips away all special characters, created by Workflower. This is useful when writing expressions where other layers are referenced. When typing out another layer's name in an expression, it may be annoying to type out every space in the indent, or to put in the special characters, which can't be found on a keyboard.
Be aware that toggling to Expression Mode may take a bit of time since all layers have to be renamed.
Expression Mode can be set as the default layout in the Layout Settings.

Convert all Comps in Project to another Layout Style

(Added in version 1.0.3)
When you go to the Layout Settings, you can click on Convert all Comps in Project to another Layout Style. This is useful when you want to exchange the project file with someone who doesn't own Workflower:
Preferably, you want to convert your comps then to Expression Mode which will get rid of all indent and special characters. You also might want to enable Expand all Collapsed Groups, Disable Shy'd WF Layers above Groups with Error Message (the shy'd layer above a Workflower group header holds information for potential error messages - however, when you don't work with Workflower, this message will be useless and might confuse you), and Unlock Shy'd WF Layers above and below Groups.
If the aep is returned to you, it is possible to convert the comps back to Indented Layout using Convert all Comps in Project to another Layout Style. For that to be possible, however, it is necessary that no layer/comp comments were deleted, as Workflower relies on them to store information about groups and layers. Also, the group header, as well as the shy'd layers above and below the group, mustn't have been deleted. These are necessary for Workflower to be able to identify the beginning and end of a group.
If you want to exchange the project file with someone who doesn't have Workflower, that person might find it annoying to deal with the additional shy'd layers above and below groups, so using this function, you can also remove those layers. However, be aware that it will then be impossible to read group information on re-importing and you would have to create your groups anew!
Last modified 1mo ago